Council, MLA meet with Premier about land slippage

September 28, 2005

QUESNEL, B.C. – Members of Quesnel City Council and the MLA for Cariboo North had a productive meeting regarding the West Quesnel Land Stability Program with Premier Gordon Campbell and Ida Chong, Minister of Community Services, today in Vancouver.

Mayor Nate Bello, Councillors Dalton Hooker, Sushil Thapar, Mary Sjostrom and Ron Paull, City Manager Charles Hamilton and MLA Bob Simpson met with the premier and minister while attending the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention. While no funding announcement was made, City of Quesnel representatives said the meeting was significant.

“The premier is very clearly taking this matter seriously,” said Bello. “We will continue to work with provincial officials on finalizing the plan. I’m hopeful a decision will be made soon. We stressed time is of the essence and he appreciated the fact that we’re a northern community and our construction season ends early. He understood the importance of not losing a year.”

To curb the land movement in West Quesnel, the City needs to drill a series of test wells to monitor ground water levels. If that work doesn’t happen within the next few weeks, it will have to be delayed until spring, pushing back the project’s next phases by as much as a year.

“As chair of the West Quesnel Land Stability Advisory Committee, I’m relieved to hear the premier’s words,” said Hooker. “He showed a real willingness to look at this project and to work with the City on finding a solution. After all the hard work the committee has put in, I’m greatly relieved.

Simpson said he’s pleased Campbell is devoting personal attention to the matter. “The premier has committed to keeping me informed on the status of the application and working with my office,” he added.

Following that meeting, Quesnel representatives met with Forests and Range Minister Rich Coleman to discuss the mountain pine beetle and the status of the provincial planning initiative.

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